Obama Foreign Policy

How Republicans can give Obama leverage against Iran, whether he wants it or not

Featured image Negotiations between Team Obama and the mullahs of Iran failed to result in an agreement before the supposed deadline. However, to no one’s surprise (except the Washington Post) the parties will continue to negotiate. White House spokesman Josh Earnest intoned that “it’s time for Iran to make the serious commitments that they know the international community is expecting them to make to reach an agreement.” Actually, it’s past that time. »

A blast of truth

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu has made a statement on the ongoing negotiations with Iran. The statement is a clarion call with the blast of truth. In it, Netanyahu refers to the statement by the Iran militia chief stating that Israel’s destruction is “non-negotiable.” The statement is reported here by the Times of Israel. The video of Netanyahu’s statement is below. The Washington Free Beacon has posted this transcript: Yesterday an Iranian »

The capitulationist

Featured image In his weekly Wall Street Journal column yesterday (accessible via Google here), Bret Stephens compiled quotes from President Obama setting forth his previously stated demands of Iran in connection with its nuclear program. Here is how Stephens’s column opens: For a sense of the magnitude of the capitulation represented by Barack Obama’s Iran diplomacy, it’s worth recalling what the president said when he was trying to sell his interim nuclear »

Losin’ in Lausanne (7)

Featured image Following his messages summarizing the status of negotiations with Iran on the verge of yesterday’s purported deadline, Omri Ceren arranged a conference call with former IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen. On the technical issues Heinonen knows what he is talking about. Having sat in on the conference call, I thought it might be of interest to readers who have been following this series and trying to understand what we »

“If You Like Your Peace In Our Time…”

Featured image In Lausanne, talks with Iran continue past the supposed March 31 deadline. This is no surprise, since the deadline was wholly arbitrary. The Washington Post reports: Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program blew past a Tuesday deadline, U.S. officials said, with diplomats struggling to reach consensus on the difficult issues of sanctions, enrichment research and future limits. … The decision to keep talking suggests negotiators believe an accord in some form »

Losin’ in Lausanne (6)

Featured image Omri Ceren writes by email from the negotiations in Lausanne: After a bruising week for the Obama administration – where literally every news day started with a scoop about another Western concession or Iranian backtrack – things are limping to a close. The AP says there will be something by tonight, which the wire gingerly describes it as “a statement that lacks specifics[.]” It’ll take about 7 seconds for today’s »

Iran moves the goal posts again

Featured image In negotiations, parties tend to moderate their positions as the deadline for a deal approaches. Sometimes, though, the parties (or at least one of them) aren’t willing to compromise. Instead, they continue to insist on the positions they have maintained throughout the process. What’s quite unusual is for a party, at eleventh hour, to insist on a position it hasn’t previously taken. When this occurs, it means one of two »

Americans Support Nuclear Deal With Iran?

Featured image The Washington Post reports that a “clear majority” of Americans support President Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran: By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds. As always, we need to know what question was asked. Here it is: Q: Thinking now about »

Deal With Iran? It’s In Allah’s Hands!

Featured image John Kerry is in Switzerland, negotiating with (or on behalf of) the Islamic Republic of Iran. On Friday, a reporter asked whether a nuclear arms deal can be reached by tomorrow’s deadline. Kerry’s reported reply: “Inshallah!” “Allah willing!” #pt kerry said 'inshallah' holding up both hands with his fingers crossed — Laura Rozen (@lrozen) March 27, 2015 God help us. »

Losin’ in Lausanne (5)

Featured image Omri Ceren emailed two reports from Lausanne overnight. Here is the first: The P5+1 meeting with Iran got out a little while ago. Total running time: 1 hour, 14 minutes. Functionally nothing happened this weekend from a news perspective – very little came out of talks, foreign ministers were still en route, etc. – which gave people plenty of time to muse over the Iran talks debate in the broadest »

In Lausanne, Mr. Motthagi sums it up

Featured image The latest from the negotiations with Iran over a deal blessing its nuclear program indicates that the catastrophe should arrive on schedule, before the March 31 deadline. In the New York Times Michael Gordon reports that “Iran’s top negotiator says accord can be drafted.” Gordon’s report should be read in the light of Adam Kredo’s March 26 Free Beacon story “US caves to key Iranian demands as nuke deal comes »

Losin’ in Lausanne (4)

Featured image Omri Ceren writes from Lausanne on the impending deal with Iran: Fabius arrived at the Beau-Rivage this morning and was marched by reporters at 10:20am. Key lines: “I am coming here with the desire to move towards a robust agreement… We have made progress on certain issues but not enough on others.” French concerns revolve around centrifuge numbers, the sunset clause, and verification. Verification may prove particularly problematic in the »

Saudi Arabia throws a monkey wrench into Obama’s Iran deal

Featured image As noted in a post I wrote earlier today, France has joined Israel in expressing dismay over the nuclear deal President Obama seems intent on reaching with Iran. Needless to say, Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch-enemy, shares the disgust. Israel and France seem to have little leverage with Obama. Indeed, Obama probably feels delighted that Prime Minister Netanyahu is unhappy. Saudi Arabia might be another matter. In fact, the Saudis may »

What price appeasement?

Featured image The damage to America’s relationship with Israel caused by President Obama’s desperate quest for a deal with Iran has been well-documented. It’s of no concern to Obama, who would like to see our ties with the Jewish state weakened anyway. For him, the weakening is a collateral benefit of the appeasement. But now, the U.S. relationship with France has been shaken by Obama’s accommodation of the mullahs. Adam Kredo of »

Iranian-backed militias accept Obama’s invitation to pull back from Tikrit

Featured image When President Obama decided to employ U.S. air power to support the effort to dislodge ISIS from Tikrit, he pushed for the Iranian-dominated Shiite militias to leave the battlefield. He did so even though these forces made up more than 80 percent of the attacking force. The Shiite militiamen didn’t need to be asked twice. According to the Washington Post, they have refused to continue fighting. One militia threatens to »

Losin’ in Lausanne (3)

Featured image Omri Ceren writes from Lausanne by email with comments for media covering developments related to the negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran: Secretary Kerry and FM Zarif started off the second day in a row with a 10:00am meeting (technically 10:08am), which again including US Energy Secretary Moniz and Iranian Atomic Energy Organization chief Salehi. Presumably the rumor mill will pick up around lunch time again, but in the »

A shocking breach

Featured image Yesterday we noted the Arutz Sheva story reporting on the Obama administration’s disclosure of formerly top secret data regarding Israel’s nuclear facilities and capabilities. The disclosure came in the form of the declassification and release of a detailed, 386-page report on Israeli and NATO nations’ nuclear facilities and capabilities; the Pentagon declassified only the part about Israel, continuing to classify the parts regarding other countries. The document was quietly declassified »